Meet Our Wholesalers
Our experienced Wholesalers are your "go-to" source for product information, technology updates and sales support for your life insurance program. They provide the focus to your team that is needed to ensure that sales goals are attained.
National New Business Development Director
John Richter joined Vantis Life Insurance Company in February 2013 as National Business Development Director. John has over 25 years of diversified sales management experience in the financial services industry. His work in establishing strategic bank relationships, broadening banks’ product mix, helping them create marketing revenue programs, and managing multi-dimensional business plans will contribute to Vantis Life expanding its bank-focused business.
John has been successful in establishing new and long term relationships with leading distribution partners. His attributes include disciplined sales management, leadership, team building, delivering expectations and a proven ability to identify and create business opportunity.
Before joining Vantis Life, Richter worked most recently at Symetra Financial Corporation as Vice President, Head of National Accounts and Business Development, where he focused on new account acquisitions and implementing a national business plan.
Prior to that, he held multiple positions at MassMutual including Head of National Accounts and Business Development for the firm’s Income Division. He also spent several years at ING as its National Bank Acquisitions Director and as National Sales Manager at INVEST.
Richter is a graduate of Charleston Southern University and Columbia University’s Managing the Enterprise program. He lives just outside Hartford with his wife Marie, a middle school math teacher, and their two sons, John Jr. and Danny. They enjoy outdoor activities which include skiing, golf and the beach.
Vice President, Financial Institution Distribution
Chris Kelly joined Vantis Life Insurance Company in October of 2010, as Regional Director.
Prior to joining the company Chris was Principal of Christopher Kelly and Associates, an Allstate agency located in Canton Connecticut.
Chris's Allstate experience followed twenty four years of service at Phoenix Life Insurance. Initially he managed training, organizational development, and human resource functions before transitioning into management of life and annuity sales operations.
Over time Chris was involved in almost every aspect of sales management. In different capacities he managed field product and sales training, field office administration, sales recognition and reward, NCAA and Senior PGA corporate sponsorship, new business, and sales systems. Within these roles he worked extensively with wholesalers, career agents, independent agents, and national accounts. He has managed teams with as few as two employees, and as many as eighty two. He left Phoenix as Second Vice President of Life and Annuity Sales Distribution.
Chris graduated from Saint Bonaventure University with a B.B.A. in Management Science, minor in Philosophy. He holds Life and Health, and Property Casualty licenses. He lives in Simsbury Connecticut with his wife Sharon and daughter Brenna. He hikes, rollerblades, skis, plays baseball and is active in local government.
Christine A. Stark
Independent Channel and Internal Wholesaling Director
Christine joined Vantis Life Insurance Company in 2006 as an Inside Wholesaler responsible for supporting all bank and investment agents. With a 20 plus year background in software and consulting, she brings with her a unique business perspective to the position. Christine's agent support includes analyzing and answering product and process queries, training, trouble-shooting specific issues and providing "best-practice" sales techniques. She holds an Insurance license for Life and Health in all the New England States and in Florida.
Christine is a Founder and Executive Director for a grass-roots organization that teaches adolescents about serving their community. She is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign War Auxiliary and with her affinity for customized vehicles, a member of the Massachusetts Association of Automotive Clubs.
Priscilla A. McCatty
Priscilla joined Vantis Life in 2003 as a Customer Service Specialist. In 2010, Priscilla was promoted to Inside Wholesaler. Priscilla comes with 25 years of Customer Service experience. As an Internal Wholesaler, Priscilla's support includes analyzing and answering product and process queries, training, trouble-shooting specific issues and providing "best-practice" sales techniques. She holds an Insurance license for Life in the state of Connecticut and has achieved the following awards, LOMA Insurance Fundamentals and the Vantis University Certificate.
Priscilla participates at her church by assisting the committees with their functions and or fund raisers. She is also the matriarch of her family and is instrumental in caring for her elderly family members.
Priscilla enjoys decorating and spending time with her family.
Nina joined Vantis Life in 2000 as an Underwriting Representative. In 2011, she was promoted to Inside Wholesaler. Nina brings with her over 25 years of Customer Service experience - from the two industry disciplines of Property & Casualty and individual life insurance underwriting.
Her wholesaling support includes analyzing and responding to product/process queries, training, trouble-shooting, and providing "best-practice" sales techniques. Nina has currently achieved the following professional certificates: LOMA-FLMI 301 and LOMA II.
Nina enjoys the sport of playing pool. She has participated with her team at the APA National Competition in Las Vegas, NV. When not playing pool, Nina also enjoys reading and sitting by the ocean.
Justin joined Vantis Life in 2010 as an agent in the direct sales department. He spent over 2 years in the direct sales building relationships with customers and gaining substantial product knowledge. In 2013 Justin transitioned to the Internal Wholesaling team where he has taken the experiences learned working in sales to supporting the Regional Directors and agents in the field. He currently holds a life insurance license in Connecticut formerly holding life licenses in 49 out of 50 states.
Justin has been in the financial services field since graduating from Central Connecticut State University. Prior to joining Vantis Life Justin worked for Citigroup in Hartford, CT supporting North American payroll operations and employee services.
In his free time Justin enjoys playing on multiple sports teams especially during the warm weather months and is a former high school soccer coach. When not participating or attending sporting events Justin enjoys traveling and spending time with his friends and family.
Associate Regional Director
Don Ross joined Vantis Life in 2011 as an agent in the Direct Sales Department where he developed relationships and sold Vantis Life insurance over the telephone. In 2014, Don transitioned to the Internal Wholesaling Team where he provided proactive internal and external sales training to agents, and supports the activities of three Regional Directors. Don was promoted to Associate Regional Director in 2016.
Don has over 30 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. Prior to joining Vantis Life, he worked as an Insurance Specialist for New Alliance Bank selling life insurance to customers. His responsibilities also included developing and supporting licensed bank agents and Financial Consultants in selling life insurance to customers in over 80 branches.
Prior to working in the banking channel, Don held multiple positions as a Financial Advisor, Financial Analyst, Financial Reporting/Operations Manager and Account Manager for a number of prominent companies including The Hartford, Travelers Insurance Company, Mass Mutual, Phoenix Life and Met Life.
Don enjoys golfing and spending time with his family. He lives in Ellington, CT with his wife Jean.
Associate Regional Director
New York/New Jersey Region
Robert began his career in 1990 as a manufacturing engineer for Heidelberg USA. At Heidelberg he was responsible for troubleshooting very complex electronics, as well as mechanical and optical assemblies. The position involved streamlining the entire manufacturing process, and provided front line support for keeping the production line on track to meet its monthly production numbers.
In 2000 Robert exited the engineering field and entered the Financial Services Industry. He began his new career with Green-point Banks Investor Resource Program (now Capital One Bank). There he learned how to sell various financial products, as well as mentor his LBE staff with dedicated training sessions several times a week.
Robert's responsibilities at the bank included conducting branch focus days, as well as insurance focus days and lending. Jump-starts were also done at least annually for branches with the greatest revenue potential. The "jumpstart" was a week long event to help train staff on correct behaviors in order to produce quality referrals within the branch. This experience was invaluable to advance to higher territory levels.
Additional experiences include working for HSBC Bank as a Vice President of Investments Financial Advisor, as well as JP Morgan Chase as a Vice President of Investments Financial Advisor. Utilizing prior experience, Robert was able to manage the personal bankers within his branches to develop their profiling skills, and referral capabilities.
Trisha Ann Vallozzi
Since 1991 Trisha has worked in the Financial Services Industry. Her career started with Pension Plans and quickly evolved into working with Fixed Annuities, Immediate Annuities, Indexed Annuities, Distribution Options as well as Life Insurance. In 1994 she successfully developed an annuity retail program with Wachovia Investments. Trisha developed the program administratively and played an integral part with sales and training. She has worked with Third Party Marketers as well as a direct distribution channel focusing solely on Annuities and Life Insurance.
Trisha has experience in all aspects of the industry. She has held the titles of Pension Sales Coordinator, Regional Marketing Consultant, Operations Manager and Internal Wholesaler. As Regional Director with Vantis Life since 2006, she is responsible for managing business development and current client implementation for the company's Southeast region, including the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
She currently holds the following licenses: state of Florida Life/Accident/Health License.
Trisha's leisure activities include boating, motorcycling, and golf
Regional New Business Director
Darcy joined Vantis Life Insurance Company in January, 2010 as Regional New Business Director responsible for acquiring and developing new accounts in the Midwest region.
Darcy has served in the following roles since 1986: wholesaler of annuities, life and health insurance products to independent agents, stock brokers and financial planners, Director of Sales which included developing new opportunities while supporting existing accounts and managing an internal National Sales Desk, and National Account Management roles specializing in developing and building relationships with financial institutions selling life insurance.
Darcy holds licenses in Life and Health.
Her leisure activities are golf and home improvement projects.
New England Region
Tim has over 25 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. He started his career as an underwriter and has held various positions including Branch and Market management, Business Development, Sales Management, Organization Development, Corporate Training, and his recent position as Vice President and Regional Development Coordinator for a large regional bank's brokerage company.
Tim joined Vantis Life in 2007 and works closely with his business partners to create revenue through programs aimed at developing individual sales skills. He also helps his partners to develop strategies and tactics to increase sales effectiveness. Tim believes that prior planning prevents poor performance and execution is the "key" to success.
When Tim is not working with his clients, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jaclyn and their daughters Sarah and Kirsten. Tim also enjoys golfing, classic cars, and various outdoor activities.
Western New York Region
Mike joined Vantis in December 2013 as Regional Director. Mike began his career in Insurance with New York Life Insurance Company in 1982. During his time at NLY Mike qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table as well as the Company’s Executive Council. He went on to become a Sales Manager at NYL and was responsible for recruiting, training, and developing new Agents. Following NYL Mike went on to become a Vice President/Insurance Sales Officer at HSBC Bank in the Bank’s Niagara District, and worked with the Financial Advisors and Licensed Platform Representatives overseeing Life Insurance sales until the Bank ceased much of their Operations in 2008. In 2009 he became the Director of Insurance at AAA of Western and Central NY working with the AAA Property and Casualty Agents to develop their Life Insurance skills.
Mike holds licenses in Life and Health, Property and Casualty, NY Certified Partnership in Long Term Care, and FINRA Series 6, 22, and 63. He is a graduate of Colgate University.
He lives in Lockport, NY with his wife Beth, and his children Sarah and Ryan where he helps Coach his kids Athletic Teams. Mike enjoys playing golf, fishing, and has been the “spotter” for the NFL Buffalo Bills play by play radio broadcast team since 1995.
Joseph A. Ploger
New York/New Jersey Region
Joe joined Vantis Life Insurance Company in 2008 as a Regional Director responsible for supporting all bank and investment agents. He comes from a Financial Services Industry background, working for Independent Financial Management Group (IFMG) for over 10 years.
During that time at IFMG, Joe's career has included various roles and managerial experiences such as Call Center Manager, Life Insurance Manager, and Quality Assurance for the Broker Dealer and Retail Banking Management. His primary responsibilities also included relationship management for key bank relationships.
Joe's main focus is to assist Vantis Life business partners in the New York/New Jersey Region create and grow opportunities for increasing fee income from life insurance and annuity sales.
Joe holds his Life/ Health licenses. He is a member of the American Management Association and holds a degree in Business Administration from Pace University in NY.
When any "free-time" exists, Joe enjoys activities that include playing golf or doing carpentry work around his house.
Joe also enjoys spending time with his wife Maria and their two children Gabriella and Luca, at their home in Westchester County New York.
Mid Atlantic Region
Walt Ritter joined Vantis Life Insurance Company in December 2003 as a Regional Director (MidAtlantic) responsible for acquiring, developing and maintaining major business accounts, optimizing fee income for his business partners by focusing on incorporating comprehensive training and "value added" programs through both the bank and credit union channels. Prior to joining Vantis Life, Walt has acquired strong knowledge, expertise, and 14 years combined in sales, training, and management as a Sales Manager & Trainer for the Prudential and New York Life.
In 2000, Walt decided to embark on a new challenge by entering the banking side of the financial services industry to help build the insurance program at Provident Bank. Walt's prior experiences in insurance and the financial services industry have made him a tremendous asset to Vantis Life and their affiliated business partners.
Walt's leisure activities included spending time with his wife Joanne and their children. In addition, he enjoys golf, exercise, and other outdoor activities.